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Introducing Comparative Politics

Introducing Comparative Politics
Concepts and Cases in Context

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Comparative Politics

June 2013 | 760 pages | CQ Press
A companion website is available for this text

Uncomfortable with a strictly thematic approach, or tired of a purely country-by-country organization for your comparative politics course?

Teach the way you want to teach with this innovative hybrid book - fully accessible to students, easy to teach, and satisfying to professors who want to give students a real sense of the questions that drive research in the field. Organized thematically around important concepts in comparative politics - Who rules? What explains political behavior? Where and why? - the book integrates a set of extended case studies in eleven "core" countries. Serving as consistent geographic touchstones, the cases are set in chapters where they make the most sense substantively - not separated from theory or in a separate volume - and vividly illustrate issues in cross-national context.

Features include:

• Core country case studies: Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, India, Iran, Nigeria, Russia, the UK, the U.S., and, new to this edition, Mexico.

• NEW! Methods in Context boxes that model how comparativists do their research and analysis.

• In Context fact boxes that put eye-opening data into thematic context.

• Where and Why? boxes that explore why certain political outcomes occur in some countries but not in others.

• Country and Concept tables that display key indicators for core countries.

Updates and revisions include:

• recent elections around the world and the effects of the global financial crisis and its aftermath,

• authoritarian versus totalitarian regimes,

• ethnic violence,

• racial politics and identity,

• economic globalization,

• executive-legislative institutions, and

• the role of civil society in government.

The Big Issues

Comparative Politics: What Is It? Why Study It? How to Study It?

Three Key Questions in Comparative Politics

Plan of the Book

The Modern State
Characteristics of the Modern State

Historical Origins of Modern States

Strong, Weak, and Failed States

Case Studies of State Formation

States and Citizens
Regimes Regimes, Ideologies, and Citizens

States and Identity
The Debate over Identity

Nations and Nationalism

Ethnicity and Religion


States and Markets
The Market, Capitalism, and the State

Key Economic Debates

Globalization: A New World Order or Déjà Vu All Over Again?

States and Markets around the World

Governing Institutions in Democracies
Institutions Institutions: Executives and Legislatures

Comparing Executive-Legislative Institutions




Institutions of Participation and Representation in Democracies
Formal Institutions: The Electoral System

Formal Institutions: Political Parties and Party Systems

Civil Society


Authoritarian Institutions
Governing Institutions in Authoritarian Regimes

Elections, Parties, and Civil Society in Authoritarian Regimes

Regime Change
The Military in Politics: Coups d’Etat



Globalization, Economic Sovereignty, and Development
Wealthy Countries: Globalization and Economic Sovereignty

Development and Globalization

Welfare, Health, and the Environment When Markets Fail
“Welfare”: Social Policy in Comparative Perspective

Health Care and Health Policy

Environmental Problems and Policy

Policies and Politics of Inclusion and Clashing Values
The Debate over Inclusion and Group Rights

Religion: Recognition, Autonomy, and the Secular State

Gender: The Continuing Struggle for Equal Social Status, Representation, and Participation


I have never seen such a positive reaction to a textbook from
students, honestly. We have had a problem finding a suitable book for
this course. The end of course critiques had been blistering on the
subject of the text. Not this year!

David Sacko
United States Air Force Academy

The strength of the Drogus and Orvis text is the integration of
themes and case studies. This approach enhances the analytical
qualities of instruction as the case studies are embedded in thematic
coverage and provide a hands-on illustration of concepts and principles.

Boyka Stefanova
University of Texas at San Antonio

The “Where and Why” feature is a very effective way of
elaborating on a conceptual methodology that is a cornerstone of
comparative analysis without belaboring students with a complex
presentation of the comparative method.

Dwayne Woods
Purdue University

I found that the book is poor in its comparative structure and cases.

Dr Georges Massé
International Affairs, The American University of Science and Technology
June 19, 2013

Has some invaluable resources to assist A-level students as they begin the challenge of comparative politics. The UK/US perspective is well-served, but the addition of other democratic systems such as India, Germany and Israel provides much-needed and hard-to-find analytical detail.

Mr Philip Whalley
Political Science , St Helen's School
May 16, 2013

I found this book very useful due to its "novel" approach" to make use of case-based and theme-based approach to comparative politics. However, I found the book to be a bit shallow in its treatment of cases. Not only because, as many other text books out there, it picks the usual suspects but also does not go indepth. Nonetheless I plan to use it as recommended.

Dr Miguel Buitrago
Department of Social Science, University of Hamburg
September 18, 2012

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